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Tag Archives: Common Loons

Common Loons are a favorite bird of mine and around here they are not so ‘common’. One of the charms of Lost Lake is the fact that the loons not only spend the summer there but there is a nesting pair. This year they hatched two, or maybe three, depending on who you ask, chicks. One was killed by a Bald Eagle who has also made meals out of the Canada Goose goslings. The remaining loon chick is maybe half grown now and too big for an eagle to catch. The parents and the young bird spend their days moving around the surface of the lake, fishing, preening and resting. Occasionally they make the unique loon sounds that echo off nearby mountain sides. It’s truly a haunting and beautiful sound. I have read that loons make four distinct calls and they all are used to communicate among themselves and declare territory. My favorite is the long drawn-out wail, similar to a wolf howl.

 

The young bird. It lacks the distinctive plumage of the adults.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parent searching for fish

 

The young bird is learning from the parents.

 

 

 

Everyone needs a good stretch once in a while.

 

 

Common Loons nest at Lost Lake. There are only a few places around Washington where they nest so it’s a special place for folks who love the charismatic birds. This season, the nesting pair has lost both of its chicks to marauding Bald Eagles. It is quite a dilemma for bird lovers. We did see a chick on Thursday evening when we arrived but the eagle was watching at the same time. We never saw the baby again so it must have been taken by the eagle shortly after we saw it.

 

 

 

 

 

I was lucky enough to be invited to search for Great Gray Owls near a known nesting site. Our small group walked along a county road and first spotted the young fledglings near the end of dusk and then the adults hunting from fence posts after dark!

 

Red-winged Blackbirds rule the marsh with their raucous calls.

 

Juvenile swallows waiting for a meal or a lesson in catching their own.

 

Young Spotted Sandpipers

 

The adult Spotted Sandpiper watching its babies.

 

 

 

 

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